Peregrines on the Clock Tower
There is no sign of second clutch, although the birds continue to spend much of their time around the nest on the east clock face. The birds are still showing some pair bonding behaviour, spending time together and today putting on an aerial display. Despite showing this behaviour the birds have not been seen mating. The longer we wait, the less chance of success.
At last we have some good news to bring you! Our fantastic new camera is up and running! It even has its very own windscreen wiper-what will they think of next! We have much improved views of the peregrines and now have a full screen image to show visitors. Unfortunately, the new camera image is not yet available to internet viewers (but we're working on it!), so why not come down to the museum to check it out for yourself?! See you there...
Another day of interesting behaviour! Today, (Tues 5th May) the birds have spent the majority of their time on or around a new (old raven’s!) nest positioned on the east facing clock face. They have been sitting very close to each other, often both in the nest together, and also have disappeared on hunting trips together. Such “lovey dovy” behaviour is not the norm for peregrines, except during the pair bonding period, which usually occurs before laying in Feb and March. The female then spent the afternoon “scraping” the nest. This is a natural behaviour to create a bowl shaped “scrape” on the nest ledge, which prevents eggs from rolling off the cliff.
It is unusual, but not unheard of, for peregrines to lay a second clutch of eggs after sitting for the full incubation period. When it does happen, it tends to occur only in city nesting peregrines, reflecting the greater availability of food in cities later in the year.
Could Gavin and Stacey be attempting a second clutch?? Watch this space!!
It has been a depressing few days for the PoCT team. After a completely normal day on Sunday (3rd May), at about 3.30pm the birds suddenly became very agitated and active around the Clock Tower. At first we thought their excitement was due to the eggs hatching, which was supported by the fact that the one of the birds appeared to bring food to the nest. However, no chicks were sighted and the feed didn’t take place. The birds then left the nest completely unattended for the next hour or so and could be seen perched at the top of the tower. As I left the site at the end of the day, one of the adults was seen forlornly circling the tower, occasionally landing at the eyrie (but not sitting) and looking generally lost.
Monday (4th) confirmed our worst fears. The eggs had failed and the Peregrines had abandoned the nest. They spent most of the day sitting on the clock tower and ignored the nest that they had been working so hard to incubate.
It has been a successful week, with the birds showing well for the museum visitors. The most spectacular moment came on Friday morning when the adult male peregrine (Gavin to his friends!) returned to the Clock Tower with a tasty seagull to eat! As you can imagine, this didn't go down too well with the local gulls, who attempted to mob Gavin as he arrived home. Luckily, he made it to a nice comfortable ledge where he was able to enjoy his meal in peace.
For the lucky people down below watching through scopes, it really was a WOW moment. And there will be more to come! Our eggs are due to hatch very soon (last year the first chick appeared on the 1st of May) which means more action on the nest ledge, more hunting trips for the adults and lots many more gory feeds to watch!
So why not come along and have your own RSPB WOW moment?! We will be at the Museum Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm.
Egg-static for Cardiff Peregrines
Peregrines on the Clocktower 2009 is up and running! The birds are back and were observed mating around City Hall in late March.
It was on the opening day of the project (4th April) that volunteer Peter Elkington noticed that the birds had chosen a nest site for 2009-the same spot as last year! For those of you new to PoCT, the eyrie (nest) is located in an old raven's nest on the north-facing side of City Hall Clock Tower, just above the clock face.
Since early April, the birds have barely left the nest unattended, which suggests that they are incubating eggs. Unfortunately, due to the height of the tower, we can't see in to count them. It will be another 2 weeks before we see the chicks appear and the mystery is revealed!
At the moment, the adult birds are taking turns incubating the eggs. If you are lucky you may see a change over at the nest site. Occasionally, one of the birds will return to the tower with prey and give us a gory treat as they devour their hard earned meal.
We estimate that hatching will occur in the first week of May (last year the first egg hatched on 1st May) and then the real fun will start! Rearing hungry chicks is demanding and both mum and dad will have to work really hard to keep the food coming. Until then, however, it's a waiting game...
Peregrines on the Clock Tower